Margate go toe-to-toe with Bishop’s Stortford

Bishop's Stortford 2 Margate 2

By ‘Blue-tinted specs’

Bishop’s Stortford 2 Margate 2

Margate produced their best performance so far this season to go toe-to-toe with Isthmian League promotion contenders Bishop’s Stortford on Saturday.

The hosts have possibly the strongest squad in the division and had not conceded a goal in seven home matches before this encounter.

From the start, a determined Margate side sought to prevent the hosts establishing any kind of dominance.

A signal of this was a first half booking for midfielder Cameron Brodie following a kerfuffle with Jack Thomas and, for good measure, the towering Mark Haines.

It took until just before the interval for the home side to have their first real spell of pressure, which included two far post headers from Ryan Henshaw that both required saves from Dan Jinadu in the Margate goal.

In addition there was a big handball appeal when a shot by Donell Thomas was blocked by Harry Hudson, but the howls of protest failed to persuade the referee.

As many spectators were still taking their places at the start of the second half (including myself), Margate scored. Korrey Henry supplied Brodie who converted into the corner of the net.

Margate’s lead only lasted a few moments, however, when Jinadu parried a shot and Donell Thomas snaffled the rebound.

Ben Greenhalgh then hit a post for Margate after he cut inside from the right and shot across home keeper Jack Giddens.

But it was the home side who scored next on 74 minutes with a Frankie Merrifield shot past Jinadu.

Margate roused themselves again and grabbed a deserved equaliser with six minutes remaining when Henry forced the ball over the line from close range. This result extends Margate’s unbeaten run to six matches.